By Megan Kramper
GAME DAY CENTRAL SPONSORED BY: Westminister Village
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Indiana State women’s basketball team will open up the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday as it welcomes South Alabama to the Hulman Center. Tipoff is set for 5:05 p.m. ET and will follow the men’s game vs. Ball State that tips of at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Live video is available from GoSycamores.com (subscription) and live audio can be heard on 1440 AM in Terre Haute with Kurt Darling with the play-by-play and Jimmy Kendall with color analysis.
Scouting the Jaguars
South Alabama is coming off a 17-13 (10-4 Sun Belt) season in 2012-13. Senior guard Meghan Dunn returns from a season ago where she scored 6.9 points per game and 2.0 rebounds per game. She looks to replace the bulk of the scoring from a season ago as USA loses their top three scorers from 2012-13. Guards Brittany Webb and forward Ronneka Robertson also look to help Dunn on the offensive side of the ball as each recorded 3.4 and 4.6 points per game last season. Robertson led the team in rebounding last season (7.2 rpg.) The Jaguars defeated Mobile in a double overtime exhibition win on Nov. 2, 98-89. Head coach Terry Fowler is in his first season with South Alabama but holds a 206-177 record in 13 seasons as a head coach.
Sycamores, Jaguars Meet For First Time in 20 Years
Indiana State leads the all-time series 2-0 and Saturday’s meeting will mark the first matchup in 20 years. The two teams last met in 1993-94 season with Indiana State earning a 76-72 win over the Jaguars in the South Alabama Classic. The first meeting between the two teams occurred in the 1991-92 season as the Sycamores won a 88-77 meeting at the Rice/Marriott Classic in Houston, Texas.
1991-92 (no date available): ISU 88, S. Alabama 77
1993-94 (no date available): ISU 76, S. Alabama 72
Indiana State in Season Openers
The Sycamores are 15-16 in season openers dating back to the 1982-83 season. Indiana State has won the last four openers over Eastern Illinois (69-39), Kansas State (77-73), Furman (59-36) and Detroit (64-62).
Game-By-Game in Season Openers since 2003
Nov. 22, 2003 vs. North Texas -- L, 73-86 Nov. 15, 2008 at Central Michigan -- L, 83-84
Nov. 19, 2004 at Miami (Ohio) -- L, 59-62 Nov. 14, 2009 at Kansas State -- W, 77-73
Nov. 11, 2005 vs. Chattanooga -- W, 74-53 Nov. 12, 2010 vs. Furman -- W, 59-36
Nov. 15, 2006 at Iowa -- L, 83-88 Nov. 11, 2011 vs. Detroit -- W, 64-42
Nov. 11, 2007 vs. Ark.-Pine Bluff -- W, 89-55 Nov. 9, 2012 vs. EIU -- W, 69-39
Comfort in the Hulman Center
Thanks to the home-court advantage of Hulman Center, the Sycamores have been dominant in Terre Haute over the past 11 seasons. Since the 2002-03 season, Indiana State is 114-34 on their home floor. During the 2012-13 season, Indiana State went 11-4 at home.
ISU Tabbed As Favorite In MVC Preseason Poll
Indiana State has been selected as the preseason favorite in the Missouri Valley Conference, announced on Oct. 30 as part of the league’s annual media days. ISU earned 26 first place votes, twice the amount as reigning league champ Wichita State. Senior guard Anna Munn was also selected as a preseason all-conference pick.
ISU Adds Nine for 2013-14
Nine new faces will be on the roster as the Sycamores start the 2013-14 season including a fifth-year senior, four juniors, a redshirt sophomore and two redshirt freshman and a true freshman.
Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir (fifth-year graduate student from Memphis)
Jasmine Grier (Commerce, Ga.) (junior college transfer)
Lashonda Littleton (Dallas, Texas) (junior college transfer)
Stephanie Wittman (Kansas State transfer, eligible in spring semester)
Chelsea Small (American University transfer, eligible in spring semester)
Cierra Ceazer (Transfer from Grambling State, eligible in 2014-15)
Rhagen Smith (true freshman)
Kelsey Dirks (transfer from Murray State, will be eligible in 2014-15)
Joyea Marshall (transfer from UT Pan American, will be eligible in 2014-15)
ISU Downs Indianapolis in Exhibition, 61-36
Three players scored in double-figures helping the Indiana State Women’s Basketball team to a 61-36 exhibition win over Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon in the Hulman Center. Senior guards Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and preseason All-MVC pick Anna Munn each scored 10 points while sophomore forward Marina Laramie also chipped in 10 to help the Sycamores cruise to a win in their lone exhibition game of the season.
Junior transfer Lashonda Littleton nearly had a double-double in her first time suiting up with the Sycamores, with nine points and had a team-high eight rebounds. In addition, Littleton went 3-for-3 from the free throw line, dished out three assists and picked up three steals.
Overall, ISU out-rebounded the Greyhounds, 39-33, while shooting 37.5 percent from the floor on the afternoon The Sycamores were also aggressive on the attack, picking up 12 steals and forcing 21 turnovers. Four Sycamores each picked up a team-high three steals apiece. ISU rebounded from a 28.7 percent field percentage in the first half to a 46.7 mark in the second half. They also went 13-for-18 from the free throw line (72.2 %) as four players were perfect from the charity stripe.
Nine of 11 players who saw action for ISU scored at least four points including freshman forward Rhagen Smith who dropped six points. Juniors Racheal Mahan, Natasha Zurek and Jasmine Grier along with sophomore guard Kasey Johnson all scored four points in the exhibition matchup.
Junior forward Travecia Franklin pulled down five rebounds in action on Saturday while sophomore guard Kalliste Haskins also saw playing time off the bench.
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Up Next for ISU
The Sycamores hit the road for their first road contest of the season at Eastern Illinois in Charleston, Ill. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.